A VILLAGE cricket club which has been at the heart of its community for more than half a century is fighting for survival.

Founded in 1950, Thixendale CC is on the brink of folding unless it recruits more players.

It has been a member of the HPH York Vale League since 1986 and is also a member of the Foss Evening League.

It won the second division of the Vale League last year but resigned midway through this season because it had been unable to put a side out on many occasions.

The league took the decision to suspend its membership to give the club the chance to regroup and apply for re-election at the league AGM in November.

Paul Scothern, who has been a member of the club for 20 years, said: “In terms of financial stability and facilities, the club has never been in a better position but it is difficult getting players to commit to playing every week.

“Also very few locals are involved with the team and it is hard to attract new players to a club located in such a remote village which is some distance away from reasonable centres of population.”

Thixendale is 10 miles from Stamford Bridge, 12 miles from Malton, 13 miles from Driffield and 15 miles from Pocklington.

Paul said: “Resigning from the Vale League was a difficult decision to make but with a dwindling number of players we could not guarantee fulfilling our fixtures for the remainder of the season. We are, however, grateful to the league for giving us one last chance to keep the club alive by attempting to recruit more players for next season.”

The picturesque cricket field is owned by Thixendale farmer Charles Brader, whose brother Adrian has played for the club for more than 50 years, and it nestles in a valley on a perfectly flat enclosed area. In 2009 a caravan used for changing on the boundary edge was replaced by a £64,000 timber pavilion

Adrian, who is also the groundsman, said: “The cricket club has been an important part of village life and it would be so sad to see it go. I used to go along to matches when my dad played for the team and I made my debut while still at primary school.”

A meeting has been arranged for Monday September 1 in the village hall at Thixendale where past, present and prospective members are invited to attend. Anyone interested in playing for the club next season and who is unable to attend the meeting should phone Paul Scothern on 01377 288181 or email thixendale@yorkvale.co.uk

Thixendale CC started as members of the St Quintin Cricket League comprising such teams as Bossall, Acklam, Birdsall, Settrington, Rillington and Wintringham. It joined the Vale League in 1986 when the St Quintin League folded.